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Zinfandel

Learn about Zinfandel — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. In fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa Valley, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles.

Zinfandel's story begins in Croatia in the 1400s when it went by the names, Tribidrag or Crljenak Kaštelanski. In the 1700s, it made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimens of the vine and acted as the source of its journey to New England, carried by George Gibbs circa 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit. The modern spelling of Zinfandel first appeared in 1852 and became standard about a decade later.

Tasting Notes for Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a dry red wine, though typically forward in fruit. Notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice are common. Very ripe examples may express a dried fruit quakity like fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often shows red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics like juniper and menthol.

Perfect Food Pairings for Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Ceasar Salad or Salad Nicoise.

Sommelier Secrets for Zinfandel

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.

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  • Foppiano Estate Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
    Foppiano Estate Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S93
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  • Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
    Ravenswood Dickerson Vineyard Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    • WS90
    3.5 7 Ratings
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  • Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
    Seghesio Rockpile Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
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    • WS93
    • W&S93
    • JD93
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  • Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
    Paul Dolan Vineyards Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Mendocino, California
    • W&S91
    • TP91
    3.7 54 Ratings
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  • Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2015  Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Eastern Exposures Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • WW93
    • W&S92
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  • Hobo Wine Company Rockpile Branham Vineyard Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
    Hobo Wine Company Rockpile Branham Vineyard Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Rockpile, Sonoma County, California
    • WW94
    • W&S93
    3.4 11 Ratings
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  • Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2015  Front Label
    Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S90
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  • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2015 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2015
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S92
    • WW92
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  • Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S92
    • WW92
    4.0 32 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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  • Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
    Alexander Valley Vineyards Sin Zin Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
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  • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2015  Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    • WW92
    4.0 6 Ratings
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  • Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2015 Front Label
    Storybook Mountain Mayacamas Range Zinfandel (375ML half-bottle) 2015
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    • WW92
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  • Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015 Front Label
    Frog's Leap Zinfandel (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S92
    • WW92
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  • Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2015  Front Label
    Rodney Strong Estate Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
    • W&S92
    • WW91
    • WE90
    4.0 9 Ratings
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  • Keenan Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
    Keenan Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
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  • Joseph Jewell Grist Vineyard Zinfandel 2015 Front Label
    Joseph Jewell Grist Vineyard Zinfandel 2015
    Zinfandel from Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $32.99
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    32 99
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